caramel chocolate bars

With a buttery coconut base, a soft caramel filling and a thin layer of dark chocolate blanketing it all, there’s lots to love about this decadent recipe. Mum made this regularly for the soirees she and John often had. I would watch from the sidelines as mum was cooking it, jigging around eagerly awaiting a taste of the molten hot caramel filling, my heart sinking as I watched her scrape every last bit of it from the saucepan onto the base. After dinner the next day, the day of their dinner party, my impatience would pay off and I was allowed one little square. That’s okay because later, when no one was looking, I’d greedily gobble down more. If my parents ever noticed the depletion of the leftover pieces they never said anything.

caramel chocolate bars

 

Speaking of greedy, I sent the bars to work with my husband the day after we shot them & they were devoured by his co-workers. I even received a marriage proposal. The pic above shows smaller pieces I cut for hungry boys so everyone would get seconds, thirds and some even got fourths. That’s what the caramel, buttery chocolate bars will do – bring out the greedy even in those with the strongest of willpowers (which certainly doesn’t include me).

caramel chocolate bars

I used to press bases for cakes and bars into pans using a flat bottomed glass but for rectangular pans like this, an egg flip (or spatula, whatever you like to call it) works perfectly and gets right into the corners to make them nice and neat.

caramel chocolate bars

You can see there’s not a very noticeable difference between the color of the base before and after cooking. The condensed milk mixture, although it feels like nothing is going to happen as you stand and stir it constantly, does thicken a little. Don’t get impatient and crank the heat up or you’ll burn it. Just stand and stir and relax for 10 minutes. Once this tasks is complete it’s just a matter of pouring it over the base and let your oven do the rest.

caramel chocolate slice

Once the base is cooked it looks a little spotty like this and a goes a deep caramel color. It’s preferable to make it a day ahead of serving. Then it can go into the fridge overnight to set. Once it does, you can pour the melted chocolate mixture over it and pop it back into the fridge for another few minutes to let the chocolate harden. You’re being so patient – almost there…

caramel chocolate bars

Et voila! It’s ready! I use a long blade knife & run it under hot water and dry it quickly between cuts. It works a treat. Sadly I have little patience to speak of so generally I steal some before it has a chance to have its chocolaty layer. Such is life – no willpower, no patience, what can I say?

caramel chocolate slice

Perfect bites to be served with coffee at the end of a fabulous meal, with a nice cuppa for a bit of a ladies’ posh afternoon tea or, served at 6 AM to a bunch of hard working, greedy men. All I know is, it can’t stay in the house with me once it’s made.

caramel chocolate bars

 

In my country this recipe is actually called “a slice”. In Canada, “squares”. And of course here in the US of A, “bars”. Whatever floats your boat. I just call it scrumptious!

caramel chocolate bars

BASE

  • 1 cup self-rising (raising) flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted

FILLING

  • 2 x 14 oz (396g) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup golden syrup (now for some reason if you can’t find golden syrup – god forbid, then use dark corn syrup if you must. I use Lyle’s and I by it on Amazon when I can’t find it in the store)
  • 1/2 cup butter, chopped

TOPPING

  • 3 0z (90g) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°). Grease a 9 x 13-inch (22 x 32-inch) baking pan; line base and sides with parchment paper, ensuring paper comes up higher than the sides of the pan – this is important so you can pull the paper up for easy removal once baked.

Combine flour, coconut and sugar in medium bowl. Add melted butter; stir until well combined. Press mixture evenly over base of pan, I like to use an egg-flip/spatula for this. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden; let cool.

To make the filling, combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir on medium heat for a few minutes or until butter is melted. Then, stir constantly, for about 10 minutes or until thickened a little; let cool slightly. Pour over base. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown; let cool. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.

To make the topping, melt chocolate in a small bowl over small saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted. Add butter & stir until melted. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over caramel filling. Chill 5 minutes or until set. Remove from pan by pulling up on the parchment paper. Place on cutting board and using a hot knife, cut into about 36 pieces. Place leftover pieces in a sealed container in the fridge. Makes about 36 pieces.

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